New Soul of Traditional Mountain Music
Born of African-Caribbean descent in Québec, Kaia Kater grew up between two worlds: one her family’s deep ties to Canadian folk music in her Toronto home; the other the years she spent learning and studying Appalachian music in West Virginia.
Her acclaimed debut album Sorrow Bound (May 2015) touched on this divide, but her new album, Nine Pin (May 2016), delves even further, and casts an unflinching eye at the realities faced by people of color in North America every day. Her songs on the new album are fueled by her rich low tenor vocals, jazz-influenced instrumentation, and beautifully understated banjo, and they’ve got as much in common with Kendrick Lamar right now as they do with Pete Seeger.
As Kater explains: “Toni Morrison once said: ‘If there's a book you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.’ Music and poetry are the languages I speak. Any time I travel, words come walking back with me. They have souls and histories. They create me and I create them.”